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U.s. 20, Afghanistan 18, America 12, United States 7, Vietnam 7, Lyndon Johnson 5, Pakistan 4, Iraq 4, Europe 3, Taliban 3, Washington 3, Malibu 3, Jersey 3, Peggy 2, Cnn 2, Liberty Medical 2, Kabul 2, Yemen 2, Asia 2, Peggy Noonan 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business.  

    January 3, 2010
    5:00 - 6:00pm EST  

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we will go to a school district where that is already the norm. all of that coming up during the 6:00 p.m. eastern hour of "cnn newsroom." i want to get to you fareed zakar zakaria, gps. >> this is the global public square. welcome. today a mix of the new and the old. i wanted to show you again a fewter yisk panels we have done and also new material of particular interest. now, in 16 days president barack obama will have been leading the united states for exactly one year. the year was filled with challenges, afghanistan, iraq, the economy, health care. how did he meet those challenges? we spoke back in november with an extraordinary panel of eminent historians. peggy noonan, robert carol, nell irving painter. a terrific conversation. i thought it was important to bring it to you again now as we look back at the president's first year. also on the show, a battle you
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may never have heard of. you will want to learn all about it. many say it encapsulated many of the problems that america faces in the war at large. the best military report, military expert in the country, tom bricks, joins me to tell you about it. while much of the focus of the nation and the show is on the hotspots around the world, what about the rest of the world? we will talk with the famous international writer and scholar of singapore to get a very different perspective on the world. let's get started. all day long on cable, news talk shows, we hear about how president obama's doing. on fox, some say he's a socialist trying tune doctrine eight our children even as he mortgages their future. on msnbc, the lonely hero fighting to give help to the
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sick and employ the jobless and end racism in our time. and here on cnn, i'm on cnn, i wanted to see if we could get a clear look at what kind of a president he really is. what kind of a world he faces. i gathered panel of talented historians and writers. people who know greatness and the lack thereof when they see it help me accomplish this mission. walter isaacson has written terrific biographies of henry kiss enjers among other. robert has won two pulitzer prizes along with numerous other awards and the author of "the three volume biography of "lyndon johnson." peggy noonan. a terrific about the years. "what i saw at the revolution." nell painter is a princeton university historian and author of "creating black americans, a history of african-americans over the last 400 years." welcome.
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that was quite a mouthful. peggy, when you were in the white house with ronald reagan, the end of the first year, i think people would have talked about optimism, confidence, and things like that. what do you think people will say with this first year? >> i think this first year of obama, i think history will probably look back on it as an attempt to change the face of america in the world which so far appears to be a good beginning. coupled with, i think, a serious domestic misstep with regard to focusing on certain issues that were not the great issues the american people were focused on when the great recession really sung in. >> internationally, ifyou have been quite supportive. >> yeah. i think it was needed. i think bringing a new face --
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literally and figuratively, to american -- of american foreign policy to the world, was a good thing. and i think that his basic approach of what i would call friendliness, not an apology, but sort of an expansive approach of no nation does everything right, we haven't done everything right, but we certainly would like to have progress between us in the future. i think that's pretty good, as i say, domestically, i think less so. >> i think, first of all, say the big thing we will remember about the first year of the presidency of obama was that exactly a year ago, my wife was walking around various banks buying cds because we were all afraid the entire financial system would collapse. lehman brothers, aig. we thought everything was going to go off of the cliff. that didn't happen. we had -- yes, stimulus and maybe a budget you think may have been too lauded by the committees and congress. but the entire saving of the financial system was huge. i do think that when you are in
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a recession it is a great time to tackle the unmet social net issue of our time. which is health care. the fact that most most americans are insecure and fear if they lose their job they are not going to have health insurance, this is big and has to be tackled and the fact that he has gotten it past the 80 yards -- you know, down the field, 80 yards so far, is pretty amazing. >> but it is -- isn't it fair to say that it is -- more than americans might have bargained for when -- when they elected him? it is -- i mean, it is something no democratic president has been able to get past in the -- you know -- >> sure. it was -- i was on the show. not too long ago with peggy in an an. we were worried he was trying do too many different things. >> trying to do too many -- no, it was all genius. >> no. i felt -- >> yes, you were. >> i thought health care was the thing you had to push. i did not think cap and trade and climate were things you should do in the first year of
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what could have been a great recession. i felt that it was a time you needed to do health care and i do think he honed his focus in on that. i think it is a good thing. >> i don't think that the people are afraid they will lose their job and lose their health care. they are afraid they are going to lose their job. that's the emphasis. it is unemployment that's, high taxes and high spending and money. it is not the secondary issues. >> i was saying it is not either/or. it is not either i'm going to lose my job or health care. people are worried about both at the same time. and over and over, i keep reading about people who have lost their jobs and, thfr, lost that your health care. >> bob, you know, this -- this discussion inevitably brings us back to lyndon johnson because the president who did a claim overread his mandate, tried to do too much, and particularly tried to push the american system too far left. too much in favor of big government was lyndon johnson.
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it produced the great conservative backlash. how do you think of it? >> i read it differently. i would say we have two presidents here. both of whom wanted to transform america. and they both wanted to make america a different place. johnson, you know, was -- succeeding a remarkable extent until he lost track of it in vietnam. if we look in july 1965, he's doing two things. he's -- hay has gotten through the voting rights act. we shall overcome, he said. he gets through the act in just a -- writing about it in the become. it is marvelous to watch him get bill through the senate by vote. he does it. hay is signing the medicare bill. this is the same month, july 1965. and at the same time, in the next week, he's launching the first huge escalation secretly without telling the american people of the vietnam war.
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and what obama is -- as i see it, trying -- he has a vast vision for america as lyndon johnson did. and he's setting out to transform the country on many fronts. and i think it is going to be fascinating in world history and the history of this country to see if hay success saeds. >> you don't think that johnson -- you know, johnson overreached as -- failed because of an overreach of the great society. you think it was all undone because of vietnam. >> let me give you an example. 1965, everything looks better. and then the money starts to go for vietnam. you know, if i can just take one more minute, if you read the notes of his meetings, he called them the tuesday cabinet meetings, on the second floor of the white house and the family dining room, off enwith four people. mcnamara, george bundy, chairman of the choynlt chiefs of staff. he was suddenly -- you will suddenly see gee, we don't have money for these programs.
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that's the tragedy. yank that it is an overreach. >> look, we have two wars going. that's expensive. it costs so much. whatever is done in iraq and in afghanistan, it will continue to be awfully expensive. it will continue, i think, to crowd out not only financially but almost in the public imagination. great new expansions he mate want. and desire. we are going to see what his decision is on afghanistan. and we will see if he decides to increase troop strength of very seriously and obviously commit to a great deal of time there. of course, it will be financially expense. >> do you think he is driven? >> i depart from some people's criticisms on that. i am delighted to see an american president who is thinking about a very serious
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decision. they are pushed forward too much by events. there's too much in a president's in-box. they are constantly pushed because of the people like us chatter being what they do to make a decision quickly and to make it with an almost faux decisiveness. this is what i'm doing and then they are stuck. i like it that he's thinking. i like it that he's calling everybody in. i think it is a good thing he's calling in councils. it is clear to me he's changed his views somewhat from the campaign when afghanistan was his good war. now he's not sure. >> i'm still struck that so much of what we talk about in foreign policy is really about masculinity. it is about who is going to shame whom. who is going to take the fall for having been wimpy. obama is up against that as a democrat, as as steady guy, as a nice black man, he's going to
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find it difficult to be the person who is going to be called the guy who lost china, vietnam, afghanistan. >> i'm worried about this. i don't know the need right now to try to nation build in afghanistan. i it will sap a lot of the strength, domestic policy. >> whether he is right or not, to go back to what peggy said, lyndon johnson had a saying. a saying for everything. i would rather be slow and right than fast and dead. so i so agree with you. >> vietnam little bit, too. i bet you he didn't really want to go in. i haven't read your book yet. >> he didn't follow that advice. it was goods advice. you hope obama will follow that advice. >> we will take a break and be right back. >> democrats didn't mts when they were passing a stimulus bill that couldn't get one single republican vote, it might
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have been viewed as problematic by the american people. hey, ask our doctor about garlique, okay?
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garlique's clinically proven ingredient maintains healthy cholesterol naturally. eat right. exercise. garlique. we are back. nell, how do you view obama as the sort of symbol? as the, you know, because in -- in campaign, you are automobile to maintain this essentially symbolic position. you know, mario cuomo's great line, campaigned in poetry but then you have to come up with prose. >> i'm struck listening to all of you, hearing that the sort of undertone of the reality partisanship. and so everything that we talk about is subject to this part russian drumbeat going on. so the campaign was so much
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about bringing us together and we can overcome and we can bridge and we can do this, this, turn the corner. but the actual governing has been fraught with a lot of part russian -- >> was that a mistake on his part? but he also, you know, i mean, he -- he handed over a lot of control to nancy pelosi to -- >> he had to. >> democratic party. >> i think that we often want the president to have more power than he really does or to overreach. and all along, i have felt that obama could not afford to be out in front. >> the drumbeat of partisanship or whatever we call it seems to have done all right for the other party. i mean, the -- no matter how you spin it, at the end of the day, this -- the last set of elections have been good for the republicans. why do you think that is? >> there was a gallup poll out this week that said essentially it was a fairly broad poll.
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and people said by -- it had gone up about 12% the number of people who thought obama was governing from the left. not from the center. it used to be about 42%. now it was about 53% or so of people. i think the president in a number of ways domestically but -- a lot of busyness, lot of spending, and -- the promise, i think, of tax increases has taken people aback a little bit and i think he's damaged his brand, as they say, in the language of merchandising which has now become the language of politics. i think jersey was the big election. i think obama had carried jersey, i think, by 15 points, just one year ago. and now -- the democratic governor and strong supporter of obama, obama had come and stad with him three times saying new jersey vote for this man, he just lost by five minutes, it
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was about a 20-point drop in support. and that tells you something. jersey is a democratic state but they are worried about specific things. unemployment, taxes. they worry about a lot in jersey. terrible property taxes. bad economy. that's where their mands are. that's who votes in jersey. lived in jersey, too. that's -- >> i still live in jersey. >> well, yaung that unemployment, property taxes -- absolutely. people want so many different things. >> nobody wants to give up their jurisdiction. >> we have school boards where there aren't even schools. >> wonderful place. the -- two great things that happened this year. we didn't have the grand depression and health care has gotten this far. but the other big thing, as you
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said, partisanship which we thought he mate be able to reduce. the poison of partisanship has xwroen. helped the republicans and it is partly, i think, you are right. the fall of the administration by not calling everybody in. and not calling everybody from bobby general jindal. >> end the tax ducks for corporations, make the bill much more you a forwardable and secondly -- bipartisan to say i'm going to consult with john mccain with two or the three things on health care and jindal. have a commission led by bob dole and others. and say what are the principles, tray to do it. i think, also, though, the republicans felt that injecting more partisanship and
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ideological is good politically. >> we have to pull the plug on -- >> democrats didn't notice when they were passing a stimulus bill that couldn't get one single republican vote, might might have been viewed as problematic by the american people. >> we have to close that with that commentary. >> i think -- you never know how history will view things. i think that this scope of what he's trying to do to change a country, does anybody rely think we didn't need huge health care reform? does anyone not think we have a huge problem here to have a president who says i'm going to try to me is sort of thrilling. we don't know how it will work out. he may be doing things wrong. but it is great as far as i'm concerned to have that scope of ambition in a president. >> lots to write about. thank you all. this is a wonderful
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we spend a lot of time on this program and around the media in general looking at the war in afghanistan from 30,000 feet. looking at the big picture, big questions, and today i want to do something did you have. i want to examine one battle from the war in afghanistan. it may be the key battle. and i'm going to use to it shed light on america's problems in that country. a town in northeastern afghanistan by the pakistan border, wanat. nine u.s. soldiers died in just over two hours. to get an idea what was going on there, listen to some of the transmissions between the men pinned down on the ground and the helicopter pilots flying above that day. that didn't get to wanat until most of the u.s. soldiers were dead.
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>> tom rick joins me to make sense of all of this. the best defense reporter in america. having covered the u.s. military for almost 20 years. first for the wall street jurnal and then "the washington post." he'sin four highly claimed books, including "fiasco and the gamble." both about the iraq war. he's now a senior fellow for the new american security, think tank based in washington, d.c. tom, let me ask you, first, why is this battle important? what are the themes we should be looking at as we peer more closely at. >> it it is representative of several things and it shows you
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why this war so difficult and how things can go wrong. the afghans survived by smart, by observing. they know how americans fight. they know the intervals they have in which to attack. they know where the american weaks innes are, communications, heavy weapons, and things like overhead reconnaissance means you attack ideally in bad weather like the attack a couple of week ago. go after their communications and then you go after their heavy weapons. you see this again and again. these are smart fighters. they fought the soviet union and fought each other. and now they are fighting us. >> what should we be looking at? what's the -- what's going on there? july 2008, 49 soldiers get orders to establish a base in wanat. why are they going to wanat? >> they thought they were doing
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counterinsurgen counterinsurgency. they are going way up to this village. way up in the mountains. this is a corridor that taliban and taliban allies have been using to come from pakistan over into afghanistan. the u.s. decides let's go up in there and -- interfere with their movements. >> than kind of a supply route they are trying to block. >> yeah. it is a corridor their using to -- in the -- americans want to get in and make it more difficult for them. >> july 13th, the day of the attack, what happened. >> a lot of foreboding. one of the commander of the platoon told his best friend i think we are going get messed up. he didn't use that term. messed up badly up will. he was right. right at dawn, at about 4:20 a.m., a volley of perhaps 200 rocket propelled grenades started coming in on them.
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very well done, soft its dated. the taliban crept up close because they didn't have enough troops to put out patrols up there because they were so busy building their base. the taliban fighters crept up close and aimed their propelled grenades at exactly the right targets. the heavy weapons. the anti-tank rocket launcher, 50-caliber machine gun. they knew what they were doing. take out the heavy weapons first and then deal with the lighter stuff later. >> and how long did the battle last? >> the intense battle lasted about an hour. because another point of sophistication, the taliban, i think had observed that it would take about that time for americans attack helicopters to get there. they knew they had a window of opportunity. in that hour, nine american soldiers were killed and another 27 were wounded. >> did they fortify themselves? how much fortify indication was there? >> they were working really hard
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to fortify themselves. by the way, all of the discussion, i have no criticism of the soldiers on the ground. they were in a difficult situation and they are doing the best they can. and they were working really hard. but they were really put in a difficult spot. they didn't have enough water to keep themselves hydrated while digging and filling sandbags in the heat that ran over 100 degrees in the high mountains of afghanistan. they were desperately trying to secure themselves aware the locals were hostile, fearful of the situation. >> two weeks awe we had a similar battle in another town, north of wanat. what happened there? >> it was very similar. very sophisticated knowledge. i think the fighters attacking them up there knew that they were -- the americans were beyond the reach of artillery and that meant again you had a window of opportunity until the attack helicopters arrive and start pushing you back. this wasn't even tougher fight. interest went on for many hours. despite the fact that that the
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helicopters were overhead. it was a similar result the base wasn't taken but the base was abandoned shortly there as after which raises another question. tell me exactly why we are in nurestan. i understand why we are in afghanistan. why in this part of afghanistan? is this really counter insurgency you are doing up there? are you simply sticking your fist into a hornet's nest? >> let's delve into that. the argument would be made if we were not to be here, if we were to say -- sparsely populated, very few people, the argument is the taliban will assert control there and potentially al qaeda or the terrorist groups could set up training camps and things like that. what's wrong with that argument? >> there's nothing wrong with that. that's probably what would happen. i think what you are see sing general mcchrystal considering given the limited number of troops i'm going to have, what's the best use of them?
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one use might be okay, let's pull back from those areas and focus on an ink spot classic counterinsurgency approach. the area southeast of kabul and kandahar. put your troops, put your resources there and do classic counterinsurgency there. >> provide security for the people there and that's the vast bulk of the population? >> exactly. >> and then in -- more rural areas, pull your troops back and do a triage but use counterterror against them. >> if you saw a terrorist base being set up in nurestan, go in attack helicopters, destroy it, but get back out. >> yeah. i would call this -- do the biden plan for areas like nurestan and petraeus plan for areas like the major cities and other population areas. >> what does this say about the taliban and its military tactics? when you watch what you are
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describing, should we be wowed by the level of sophistication or just street smarts? >> i think we consistently underestimated afghanistan. i used to live there when i was a teenager. one thing i learned there -- >> you lived in afghanistan? >> 1969 to 1971 and kabul. my father was a professor for two years. i was a member of the afghanistan ski patrol junior grade and skied there. a lot of afghans are ill literate. it does not mean stupid. i'm not sure mints you will cultured. the average afghan probably knows more poe friday by heart than hardly anyone in america. you can run into afghan tribesmen that know hundreds of poems and thousands of proverbs. we would consider in their conversation quite literate. even when lived there, it seemed to me the warfare was w the afghan national sport. one of my favorite books on this reege son by john masters.
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it is a memoir of being in british officer in the 1930s. the a much began cousins showed up rather angrily and confronted him. where are our models, they said? they said turn enemy. no, no. you gave medals to the men on your side. we want our medals, too. you couldn't have had a good war without us. very much the afghan attitude. this is a sporting event for them in many way. >> you this very much. this is fascinating. now, shortly after the attack on one, the u.s. military pulled out of the village and entire valley. to this day they have not returned. two weeks ago at the request of admiral mullen, general petraeus opened a new investigation into the battle. he appointed a three-star general from the marine corps to oversight. we will keep you informed when the results of that
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investigation are forthcoming. to learn more about the battle of wanat, to get the book tom suggested, go to our website where you will find links to some of the best reporting on this subject. we will be right back. little bot than big bodies. they need special attention and special care. nobody knows that better than children's tylenol. it works with little bodies... to reduce fevers while easing aches and pains. for over fifty years, pediatricians and parents have trusted... children's tylenol... to care for little bodies... while they're growing big. wow, that's a low price! wow, that's a low price! how many products do we carry? 7,000. [ man ] wow, that's a low price! i'll get him a cart. [ man ] hot diggity dog! yeah.
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her's what got my attention this week. it is a report from russia bankruptcy proceedings have begun for the manufacturer of the ak-47. today it is the world's most popular weapon. it might prove to be a victim of its own success. in 1947, a soviet soldier won a competition for a new submachine design gun. so good was the weapon, so indestructible, the soviets put tonight the hands of everyone fighting on their side. it didn't always shoot where you
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aimed it but it was an almost indestructible workhorse. the u.s. first fought against it in the jungles and rivers of vietnam. in afghanistan, in the 1980s. today many of those same weapons that the united states provided for those freedom fighters being used against american and nato forces by the taliban. anyway, then the ak-47 crossed the ocean and cementing its reputation as a rebel favorite. first in the hands of the fur i will guerrilla fighters to africa africa. aks have been bought for as little as $12. it got the nickname the african credit card as in don't leave home without it. it is said to be in the official arsenal of more than 80 countries. the u.s. bought more than 180,000 of them when it rearmed the iraqi army.
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the ak-47 was so successful that it now figures on their national flag. and it has become a weapon of choice for terrorists, drug dealers, gangsters. some say these weapons are responsible for the deaths of one quarter of a million people every year. there are reportedly anywhere from 70 to 100 million ak-47s and variations of it floating around. why is the company going broke? it is a story of globalization and technological change. massive demand for a product now invites cheaper imitations and counterfeits, many almost gas as the original but at a fraction of the price. back in the soviet era the soviets didn't just arm their allies with these guns, they freely sent out instructions on how to manufacture them and needed to learn something about intellectual property, i guess. that means the original company and its original factory have lost most of that's business. in recent years, russia has accounted for just 10% of total
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a conservative-47 production according to the company. indeed the factory has been quiet most of 2009. fortunately for his own wallet, he has branched out. he now makes a product people will presumably keep coming back to buy -- vodka. we will be right back. >> the whole tone of america's relation was the rest of the world has changed. anti-americantism you saw in europe and islamic world. some parts of latin america. that's gone. clearly, obama is someone who is respected all around the world as a great man. even though they are waiting for him to deliver some results. hair in the air, t i'd spend class preoccupied, bothered by itchy eyes. but now i have new zyrtec® itchy eye drops. it works fast, with just one drop, to relieve my itchy eyes from allergies for up to 12 hours. no other allergy itchy eye drop works faster or longer.
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hello, everyone. live from a chilly cnn in new york. a look at your headlines. nine days after the terror attack on northwest airlines 253, the transportation security administration today issued new airline security directives. the tsa says every person flying into the united states from or through a state that sponsors terrorism must go through enhanced screening. it says that that rule will
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apply to passengers flying in from other countries of interest. american and british embassies are shutting their doors in yemen today. the move comes in the wake of new threats by a branch of al qaeda based on the arabian pen lanes. word has it embassies could be targeted. the white house senior adviser on counterterrorism said closing the u.s. embassies is a wise precaution. >> i spoke with our ambassador in yemen both this morning as well as last night. there are indications al qaeda is planning to carry out an attack against the target, possibly our embassy, and what we do is take every measure possible to ensure the safety of our diplomats and citizens abroad. the decision was made to close the embassy. we are working closely with the government to taking the appropriate precaution. >> more on that story at the top of the hour. in pakistan officials is tell cnn a teacher and his 9ier old son were killed by a suspected u.s. drone.
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it happened in pakistan's north waziristan region. more funerals following the deadly car bombing in the middle of a group playing volleyball. at least 99 people were killed. iraq's government wants to make sure there are no former blackwater employees left in the country. a spokesman says that the government is actively pursuing ex-contractors from the private security firm. iraqi's appealing a u.s. judge's decision to drop murder charges against five blackwater guards. there were -- they were accused of killing 17 iraqi civilians back in 2007. poor judgment or criminal behavior? that's what police are trying to determine as they investigate allegations that two washington wizards basketball players drew guns in a locker room. the nba wants to know what happened. the witnesses say gilbert arenas
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and javaris crittennton were having disputes. the league is closely watching developments in this case. we will update you on that at the top of the hour. those are your headlines for now.
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we have been devoting much of your time on "gps" to crisis
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hotspots, afghanistan, iran. there is a wider world out there. a renowned writer and scholar, "the dean of the school use of policy in singapore." before we get started, you were on this program and you said this was -- year and a half ago. you said barack obama is elected president of the united states, 50% of the anti-americanism in the world will disappear. well, he has and has 50% of the ant anti-americanism disappeared? >> it has gone down significantly. the whole tone of america's relation was the rest of the word has changed. the speeches that he gave reaching out to the islamic world have made a huge difference. the kind of reflectixive anti-americanism you saw in europe and the islamic world and some parts of latin america, that's gone. and clearly, obama is smun ones
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that widely respected all around the world. as a great man, even though they are waiting for him to deliver results. >> what is the world's reaction to obama's foreign policy so far? beyond the issue of the speeches and looking at the specific issues of, you know, dealing with iran, dealing on the iraq issue, dealing with sfgs, and the way he is, is there some -- you travel in circles around the world, are people coming to any kind of cop clugss tentatively? >> i think the -- they believe he's trying to do the right thing. and, mine, i can tell you, even hillary clinton is doing an excellent job as secretary of state. reaching out to the right people and talking in the right tone. if you look at the u.s./china relationship, frankly, is the single most important relationship today in the world, i think stand a very good chance of keeping it on a very even keel. in the case of iran and
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afghanistan and iraq, i mean, iraq seems to be going in the right direction. the whole world is dreading any kind of military attack on iran. that would be a and so you have to wait and see what happens. the key, frankly, i still think everybody is watching this very carefully. let's push as quickly as we can for a two-state solution. let's do something in that area because any concrete result on the two-state front immediately lowers the barometer of anger in the islamic world and is something i hope to push for very hard. >> talk about the u.s./china relationship a little more. china has come out of this recession stronger than ever. it is going to grow at 8.5% this year. reserves are now at $2.3 trillion. they are higher than they have ever been so far from being depleted as a result of this and
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they are using this crisis as an opportunity to build an amazing new set of infrastructures for their next year of cities. so, they come out of this, at least in the first blush, much stronger than the rest of the world. are they beginning to flex their muscles? >> i think the key -- the first thing is, by the way, when this crisis happened, i don't know if you remember this, many people thought that this crisis was somehow derail the asian store late asian countries were dependent on to exports, u.s. and europe would die with the crisis. what nobody expected so that this crisis shifted the power to asia and the chinese are ready to be responsible stakeholders in a new global order. they do want to work with the united states of america.
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so at this moment in world history, if the u.s. gets it right with china, then we are in for two or three decades of comfortable time. but if the u.s. gets it wrong with china at this point in time, then it is very dangerous. >> there has been in china for the last 20 years, roughly speaking, a kind of consistently pro-american foreign policy, by which i mean this -- that the chinese saw their salvation, their path to great power, their rise to great power as being fueled by a good relationship with america, because that gave them access to trade, technology, and also created a kind of umbrella of security under which they could grow. is the current leadership and the next generation of leadership in china, from what you can see, still kind of thinking along these same lines? or has the rise of china, the financial crisis, the discrediting perhaps of some notions of american -- the american model, has all this made the chinese feel, you know what, we need to rethink our
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relationship with the u.s. we don't need -- friendly relations with the u.s. is not the paramount issue here. >> i think the key point i would want to emphasize is that chinese foreign policy has always been pro-china. they have had a fairly, how do you say, consistent long-term strategy of managing the rise of china, and working closely with the united states has worked in enabling the rise of china, and so they'll keep on doing it. but you're right in suggesting, by the way, that this crisis has changed asian and chinese attitudes towards america and the west, because until now, the general feeling was that when it came to economic management, when it came to financial management, the west knew best what to do. this is how you manage the world's financial situation. this crash, you have no idea the impact it's had psychologically. it's like scales falling from the eyes and people saying, how come? these guys were telling us how
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to run the world in the financial sector and look how they screwed up. and believe me, i mean, this is something that's so hard to put across to a western audience, how attitudes have changed. and the counterpart to that, incidentally, is there is rising confidence in asia that we know now how to manage things better. we know how to get the right balance with an invisible hand of free markets and the visible hand of good governance. and you need both. and all those who are saying deregulate, privatize, open up, gee, they were wrong. so, in that sense, i would say there has been a sea change of attitudes. at the same time, i'm absolutely convinced that the chinese know that the only way for china to emerge peacefully is for the 1945 rules to stay in place. and they want to merge us like japan and germany after world war ii.
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they want the rule space order managed by the united states to remain. they don't shake it or break it. >> does that include keeping the dollar in its current position as reserve currency of the world? >> that's a very tough question. and believe me, the chinese are agonizing very hard about this dollar question, because they have so much to lose. i mean they know that if something goes wrong with the u.s. dollar, i mean, at some point in time, if you cannot raise loans to pay for your deficits and you start printing money to pay for your deficits and the dollar goes down, china's going to suffer, right? they've got a huge amount invested in the u.s. dollar. so, they would like to see a managed transition towards a world where they're not so reliant on the u.s. dollar. but at the same time, they do not want to undermine the united states in doing this. they want to work with the united states to create a more balanced kind of financial regime that is not so fragile and not so dependent on one currency. >> always a pleasure to have you on. >> good to see you, too.
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thank you. and we'll be right back. hev. are you a cop? no. you didn't hear it from me, but this malibu, it offers better highway mileage than a comparable camry or accord. estimated 33 highway. i saw that on the epa site. so how come the malibu costs so little. it's a chevy. you have cop hair. now get 0% apr for 72 months or during the chevy red tag event, use $1,000 holiday cash to get $3,000 total cash back on select '09 malibu vehicles in stock. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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if you're waiting for the question of the week, we have decided to give your brains a bit of a rest this week, so there will be no "question of the week" today. it will return next sunday. if you're itching for a mental exercise though, try your hand at our weekly world affairs quiz, the fareed challenge. it's on our website, cnn.com/gps. remember, you can always e-mail us at gps@cnn.com, we welcome your comments, good and bad. and this week i'd like to recommend not one book but five. i've chosen ten of my favorite recommendations from 2009. last week, we brought you the first five. now the final five. joshua cooper ramos, "the age of the unthinkable," "imagining india," "panic the story of modern financial insanity" "the